What is a Canister Vacuum?
A canister vacuum is a type of upright vacuum cleaner with a long, flexible hose and a power cord. A canister vacuum is often lightweight and designed for navigation around furniture. You can also use it on stairs or difficult to reach areas without having an awkward tugging motion with a heavy vacuum. Most models have an opti-motor and come with either a washable filter or a disposable filter.
Generally, the models that have the disposable filter are more affordable and have attachments for cleaning upholstery. Models that have an opti-motor feature a brush roller at the bottom of the canister to help collect debris from carpet. The more expensive models generally come with washable filters, which are easy to clean and reusable. Most expensive brands have detachable canisters so that you can use either the power brush or other attachments without unplugging the machine or moving the hose. Other vacuum cleaner brands only have one attachment for cleaning carpets and require you to purchase additional tools for cleaning other areas around your home.
Depending on your needs, you may purchase a canister vacuum as a primary vacuum or as a back up. You should consider the weight of the vacuum and whether it will fit through doorways without requiring you to move it. Most canister vacuums are lightweight, but some are made with a dolly so that you can pull it around on wheels. Some models have an extendable handle so that you can get to hard-to-reach areas without having to unplug the unit or move the hose.
Vacuum cleaners come in many types and sizes, including home shop vacuums which are small enough to use on your workbench.
A vacuum cleaner, also referred as a canister vacuum cleaner, is an electrical appliance that sucks in air and dust from the surrounding environment in order to clean or suck up dirt. How a vacuum cleaner works varies depending on the design of the vacuum cleaner. Generally, however, it contains a motor to rotate a flexible suction wand with brushes attached. Vacuum cleaners may be made with a canister or bags to catch the dirt.
History of the Canister Vacuum
A vacuum cleaner works by creating suction through an intake and an exhaust system. Ions are passed through a filter, which traps allergens while letting air pass into the intake of the vacuum. The air now has a negative charge due to the ion process. A fan is used to create suction in order to vacuum up debris and dirt that has accumulated on floors, furniture, and other surfaces that collect dust often.
The first inventors of the modern vacuum cleaner were mid-19th century Americans Ives W. McGaffey and Melville R. Bissell who teamed up to create a new way of cleaning carpets. Bissell went on to develop the first commercial vacuum cleaner that was called the “Bissell house vacuum cleaner” in 1907 after a successful trial was completed in his home. The model he created was a cylinder that contained a device called a cyclone. Invented by the American Walter Frederick Morrison, in 1918, at the General Electric Co. It consisted of two rotating barrels, known as “petals”, which were made of cork and permanently attached to an upright piece of wood. The petals were then connected by a long flexible hose to an exhaust nozzle arranged around one side of each barrel. The vacuum cleaner was powered by an electric motor.
In the early 1900s, there were no standard vacuum cleaner designs and it was very difficult to manufacture a vacuum cleaner that worked well with a variety of homes and locations. Few domestic appliances could be mass-produced because of their physical size. The early vacuum cleaners had heavy-duty motors with belts that drove belts, sprocket wheels, or other drive systems connected to a large fan and small air pump (or diaphragm pump) for generating the suction needed for picking up debris from carpets.
The most popular vacuum cleaner on the market is the Dyson. Their newest model, the V8 Absolute is now marketed as “MAGNITUDE 8”. The release comes just four years after their previous release, which was called “MAGNITUDE 7”. The Dyson has a series of cyclone tools and attachments, allowing users to customize the vacuum’s performance. The V8 Absolute weighs 11.7 pounds, hosts a noise reduced to Earth by 55%, and is 3x more powerful than any of the previous models.
The best selling vacuum cleaners in America are made by Bissell, Electrolux, Eureka/Aerus, Kenmore/Sanitaire and Hoover.
Canister vacuum doesn’t just mean a type of vacuum that comes in a bottle, but it means a vacuum that has an internal cylinder. The cylinder contains the motor and the cyclone all enclosed within the same component so you get maximum power and suction in one unit. That’s why they don’t have a long hose, because they don’t need it.
Canister vacuums are expensive at first glance, but they make sense when you compare the costs of owning different kinds of vacuums. Just like a car, the kind of vacuum you get shouldn’t be based on the looks alone. It usually comes down to the experience you have in using it yourself versus how it looks when you look at it.
Canister vacuums have 2 main drawbacks, one being that they don’t work well in heavy dust/debris and another one being the difficulty of disassembling them for maintenance and cleaning. However, this is where stick vacuums really shine. This is because they are much lighter and easier to maintain.
If you have back problems, it’s likely that a canister vacuum isn’t good for you. The weight of the vacuum means that it will be very heavy and hard for you to move around the house. That’s why stick vacuums are much better in this case.
Stick vacuums, however, don’t handle dirt or dust well. It’s not uncommon to see them working over the same spot for more than 5 times with no significant results. This makes them unsuitable for cleaning large surfaces or even getting the dust in one place.
When we compare the 2 categories, a stick vacuum is indeed better as it does a better job on dirt and works well on hardwood floors. However, with that said, canister vacuums have more pros than sticks in other areas.
What about using both? That’s what I did to my house! I purchased a stick vacuum for general maintenance and to clean the floor. Then I also used a canister vacuum for the areas where it made sense such as under beds or in couches and chairs. They worked really well together.
As a buyer, you should always do your research and ask others questions. That will make your job a lot easier as you become more familiar with the types of vacuums available.
Many people complaint about brands that don’t have good customer support when they have an issue. This is where they are not doing their job properly and the customer support should be quality to match the product itself.
I can recommend Triton if you have any problems with your vacuum cleaner that needs servicing or just want to replace parts. Their customer service is second to none and they provide a guarantee for all their products which covers all parts of the vacuum including the motor.
If you are looking for a vacuum cleaner, I would recommend Hoover, Triton or Windsor. All of these have great performance and will give you years of service at a very low price.
Hopefully now you have a much better idea about canister vacuums and how they work and how to pick one that suits your needs. Remember when buying one that the quality is important so don’t just buy based on the name brand or looks alone.
There are many advantages and disadvantages when it comes to choosing either canister or bagged vacuums. I have listed some of the pros and cons for each style below.
Pros of a Using a Canister Vacuum
1. It’s at least 30% cheaper than a bagged vacuum because of the fact that you don’t need to buy bags every month for it. You can buy filters or washable filters if your vacuum allows that, in order to reduce cost further.
2. It saves money because you don’t need to replace or buy bags but instead you can wash bags at home and reuse them. This way you eliminate the cost of buying replacement bags as well as cutting down on waste produced by manufacturers due to the packaging of these replacement bags.
3. It can be more efficient than a bagged vacuum because the machine does not have to work as hard when sucking up debris. A bagged vacuum has to pull the debris up out of the filter before it can suck it into itself and this takes time every time you run the vacuum, meaning that your machine could be sitting idle for a while which means it still requires electricity which means you may have to pay for that electricity too.
4. It is quieter than bagged vacuums because the bags are removed while use so they do not need to use as much power. This means that manufacturers are able to make vacuums that are quieter and more efficient.
5. Most of the time it requires less maintenance because you don’t have to replace filters or bags which means you don’t have to maintain the vacuum as frequently.
6. Because there are no bags, there is a greater amount of suction present which means that it will clean better than bagged vacuums.
7. The lifetime of the vacuum is longer than bagged vacuums because they do not require as much maintenance.
8. There is less chance for your vacuum clogs because there are no bags to get in the way and cause clogging such as strings etc.
9. Because they are smaller, there are no bags to drag around and get caught in corners or on things so it is a bit easier to use than bagged vacuums.
10. They do not require extensive cleaning because the bags or filters do not get dirty as quickly as they would if they had a bag in the machine.
11. Because the vacuum does not have bags, it is easier to carry up stairs as you can simply lift the top of the machine off and carry it up steps.
12. They are cheaper to run because the filters and bags tend to add cost to these machines, whereas they don’t with a bagged vacuum.
13. They are easier to use because they can be handheld so you can get into tight areas that a bagged model cannot reach.
14. Often the bags used in vacuum cleaners will not actually fit inside the machine which means that they can jam up really easily and then it is a real pain to get them out of the machine when they do jam or become wedged in there.
15. For those who have allergy problems such as asthma, a canister vacuum cleaner will be much better than a bagged vacuum.
16. They are a bit easier to empty as it is not necessary to put the dust and dirt into a bag you just take the cup off and empty it out.
17. They are slightly more convenient because they do not contain bags, which means that you don’t need to worry about changing bags or having any bags get lost or broken etc.
18. Because they are not so heavy, with some models, you can carry them up stairs without too much trouble whereas this is much harder for those with bagged models because of the weight of the bags in them.
19. The bags themselves are a lot easier to wash than the bagged models. With the bags, you have to check closely that there is no dirt or dust in them but with the collapsible cups, you just throw them into a washing machine and they come out completely clean.
20. In my opinion, collapsible cups are much more environmentally friendly than the bagged version. They don’t waste plastic because they can be made of cardboard and paper like most other cups but at the same time they are also made using recycled materials such as plastic bottles thus reducing our demand for new plastics.
21. They are much safer than bagged models because it is impossible to suck up the bag inside the vacuum cleaner.
22. They tend to be smaller and more lightweight than bagged models which makes them easier to transport and store.
23. They are much easier to maintain because there are not any bags or filters that need maintenance and replacing on a regular basis, often no maintenance at all with a machine that does not come with bags or filters.
Cons of a Canister Vacuum
1. They are not so good for people who like to use dust bags to collect the dirt because it is difficult to empty out a cup of dust as opposed to just emptying a bag of dirt and dust.
2. Because they lack the bags, they also lack the protection that these bags would provide against dust and dirt.
3. They take up more space and do not have as much capacity for collecting dirt. If you need something large then you would likely need a bagged vacuum because the bags do take up a lot less space than an open container like in many of these machines.
4. They are not so good for those who prefer the ease of use that comes with a bagged vacuum because it is more time consuming to empty a cup than to dump out bags. This may take more time from those who are in the habit of pre-emptively dumping out their bags before they get full.
5. They do not have the protection afforded to them by the bag which means that they can be prone to clogging if too much dust and debris gets into the machine, something which is hard to avoid when cleaning since this is what vacuums are designed for.
6. They are not so good for anyone who has allergies because they do not contain any bags or filters that can be washed off and cleaned.
7. They are not good for anyone who wants to clean up pet hair as well because it is difficult to vacuum up pet hair and this makes it more likely that you will need to pick up things yourself after the vacuum has passed over them which means that it may not be as efficient as you had hoped.
8. It is less effective than a bagged model when picking up liquid.
9. The bags are not as easy to dispose of as it is necessary to empty them into garbage which means that you have to do this more often.
10. They can be noisy as you have to hear the sound of the spinning cylinder in order for it to work properly and often you will not hear this unless your house is particularly old or very silent.
11. Since they do not come with bags, it is more difficult to clean up spills because there are no bags or filters on the machine that can easily be removed and cleaned off so spills will just accumulate around the machine and when it comes time for its next emptying, cleanup may be a bit harder than usual.
12. They are more expensive to purchase than a bagged model because you have to buy filters but these are still cheaper than the bags.
13. If you have pets then they may be less efficient for picking up pet hair because it is not contained in a bag so you will need to pick up the hair yourself which can be a bit more time consuming and annoying depending on how much hair your pets produce each week.
14. They are not as good for people with allergies who want to clean up pet dander or pollen particles because there are no bags. If you live in an area that has an excessive amount of these particles in the air then this could be a problem for you unless you can get filters that are washable.